As young kids, most of us were taught to go to sleep at a regular bedtime every night. Come the weekends, our bodies would naturally wake up at the same time that it did on any given weekday. A regular sleep schedule is vital for young children as the growth hormone is released during sleep. This is only one of the number of benefits that comes with having a regular sleep schedule.
Most adults report having bad or poor sleeping quality, but with so much backed up research to prove the benefits of a regular sleep schedule, it comes as a surprise that they aren’t implementing the practice already.
Benefits of a regular sleep schedule:
- Higher alertness and focus
- Increased levels of energy
- Make healthier choices and exercise at higher intensities
- Less sick days
- Less depression and anxiety
- Better overall health and wellness
Irregular bedtimes are typically linked to:
- Heart Disease
- Higher Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Increased levels of High Blood Pressure and High Blood Sugar
- Increased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress
With all of this in mind, research and scientific studies should not be viewed as all or nothing scenarios. Social obligations, work, and life all happen and can sometimes cause interruptions in our routines. Although your body might feel the effects of one night of sleep deprivation once a routine is established, it won’t cause any long-term harm. Research shows that people with constant sleep irregularity are at higher risk of developing physical or mental diseases and experiencing a lack of proper body function.
A few things to keep in mind when establishing a sleeping routine are to set an alarm to wake you up at the same time every day and also to go to bed at the same time (including weekends). Experts also recommend avoiding eating right before bed, using electronics, or consuming caffeine. On the other hand, reading before bed has been proven to help you wind down and help you fall asleep.
If you’ve tried to establish a sleep schedule but find that you experience insomnia or lack of energy during the day, it is best to refer to a doctor or a sleep specialist as it might be the result of an underlying condition.